Ash stood tall in the park, watching the children kicking the ball. Her branches still bare from her winter sleep, she stood open to the gentle breeze that bore the slightest chill. She shivered in the coolness, shaking off bits of dead bark and leaves as she plunged her roots farther into the soil, seeking warmth and nourishment. Her neighbors had already begun their own greening, even those infernal Pines looks smuggly greener. Her own greening would come with wild abandon. In the heat of summer the children would seek shelter in her shade. For them she would wait.
Solanj looked up at the sunbeams breaking through the single cloud that cluttered an otherwise perfectly clear sky. “Thank goodness there’s no long range shot involved in this job,” she thought to herself. “Would have to make adjustments for the light refraction.”Continue reading “Sunbeams”→
She lay hidden from view of the camp, covered in ice and snow. Waiting for a signal, waiting and waiting. Her weapons and body disguised against the sun’s bright glare, she gave no hint of her presence, no shiver, no steam of breath. A silent puff of smoke told her the time had come. She sighted her target. The rocket launcher sang it’s song of destruction. Snow, black smoke and screams erupted from the camp below. Amidst the confusion, she slipped away, unnoticed. Smiling, another job completed.
Ginnafer looked up at the wall of sandals. So lonely, all those shoes with no wearers. Below the wall sat candles, and flowers. Offerings to memories of the women who had worn these shoes in life. The sacrifices made by the young women of her village. Sacrifices that kept the village whole, the crops unburned, the people fed. Brave women who proudly proclaimed, “I will go to my death to save that which I hold more dearly than life; all of you.” Or so the magistrate claimed.
Ginnafer knew the truth though. The women, barely more than girls, were dragged kicking and screaming and staked to a post for the monster. None returned, none survived. It had to stop, the killing, the death, the lies. It would all stop with the death of the dragon. Ginnafer nodded to her warriors and tested the edge of her sword. Time for a dragon to die.
The rain had been falling all morning, causing condensation on the inside of the car window. Julia tried to look out it, but just couldn’t. She knew where they were going. She didn’t need to see it. Soon they entered the little pocket of urban gardens and backyard pools that once she had called home.
Julia wiped a bit of the moisture from the passenger’s window and peered out. She knew all too well the ugliness that lurked just beneath the peaceful facade. The lies, lust, and greed permeated the very air clinging to the window. Silver Hollow, home of beautiful houses, manicured lawns and well tended gardens. And the most grisly double murder in the history of the county. The murder of her parents.
They turned down the lane. Plop, plop plop, the rain fell like fat tears and Julia watched out the window.
The storm had passed and the sunrise brought a new day. Beatrice was looking out the window at the pasture across the road. She watched the mist that rose from the cool damp of the ground.
In her mind she heard the tiny voices call. “Fairies,” she muttered. Finally, the call to adventure was more than she could bear. Beatrice darted out of the house and across the road. There, under the old sycamore tree, she found the fairy ring. She stepped inside and was instantly surrounded by tiny winged beauties. They fluttered around her in circles. She felt herself shrink and change until, at last, she was a fairy herself.
“Princess Beatry,” they called to her. “Where shall we go today.”
She looked at her subjects and smiled. “On an adventure my lovelies!” Princess Beatry launched herself into the air and was followed by a hundred fairies.
Solanj paid no heed to the “no entry” signs as she approached in her slinky black gown. She presented her piccolo case, along with a long shapely thigh showing through the gown’s walking slit, and the smiling guard passed her through. The orchestra was already preparing for tonight’ssymphony. Solanj stood for a moment sizing up the hall, picking the spot where the sounds would resonate the least.
On the lighting platform, Solanj opened her piccolo case. She withdrew a slender silver tube which she fitted with a mouthpiece and loaded the tiny darts concealed in her bracelet. She was ready.
The orchestra began their prelude. Solanj started her breathing ritual before lifting the blowgun to her lips. Just for a moment she could remember other symphonies, better times. She shook her head and focused on her breathing, opening her eyes. “Time for you to die Mr. Ambassador.”